NEWS

4 ELA suspects deny charges

Four of the five people on trial for alleged Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) membership yesterday denied any link with the extreme left-wing terrorist group. On the second day of the trial, after the last of the charges were read out, only Christos Tsigaridas, a 64-year-old Athens architect, admitted having had anything to do with ELA. Even then, he accepted no more than the «political responsibility» for group membership before 1991. «ELA aimed… to change our society,» he said. «It had a vision for a society that would respond to the desires of repressed citizens. I deny all charges for they are untrue, although from what I can see there is no evidence of my guilt.» «The group had many activities, which were not in a specific hierarchical order,» he added. «I was involved in some of these.» ELA killed two people in 20 years of action that ended in 1995. The other four defendants, Costas Agapiou, Angeletos Kanas, Irini Athanassaki and Michalis Kassimis, denied ELA membership. Kassimis was in hospital for an operation and was represented by his lawyer.